On May 24, 2016, Municipal Council approved its $13,770,000, 2016/17 Municipal Operating Budget. This is a balanced budget and includes contributions to reserves. Highlights include:
- The residential rate will remain at $0.88 per $100 of assessment. This is the ninth consecutive year that the residential rate has not increased.
- The commercial rate will remain at $1.46 per $100 of assessment. The Municipality remains the lowest commercial tax jurisdiction in the Province of Nova Scotia.
- The municipal sewer rate will remain at $311 / unit.
- Over $380,000 in operating and capital grants to community-based organizations to foster community development in both the County and Town;
- $70,000 for Eastern-Strait Regional Enterprise Network for the creation and implementation of a regional strategy for economic development;
- $242,000 for library operations and the People’s Place Library;
- $3,248,875 in mandatory contributions to the Strait Regional School Board;
- $3,030,000 for Protective Services, including RCMP, Fire Departments, Correctional Services and Emergency Management; and,
- Approximately $100,000 for initiatives that support administrative innovation, economic development, customer service and the development of the Municipality’s first corporate plan.
In addition to the operating budget, a number of capital investments were approved:
- Completion of a water-metering program for all municipal water customers,
- Installation of a 25kWt Solar PV system at the Municipal Office,
- Exploration of a large-scale wind energy project in partnership with other municipalities near the South Canoe Wind Farm,
- Curb & gutter at Appleseed Drive and Harbour View Drive,
- Repairs and maintenance at the County Court House,
- Installation of back-up power systems for both the Gaspereau Lake and Lower South River water systems, and
- Environmental assessment of outflows at the Town Sewer Treatment Plant.
Tax-bills will be in the mail in the coming days and are due on June 30, 2016. The development and approval of this year’s budget is the result of significant work on the part of both staff and Council.